Illinois Poison Control Center reports an increase in exposure to harmful chemicals.
From January through Mid-March, there was no real difference in cleaning exposure calls to the Illinois Poison Control. After March 15 through April 26, there was a 49% increase in cleaning product exposures. TV, radio, internet and social media messages on keeping areas clean, disinfecting surfaces and hand-washing frequently to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus are unceasing making it easy to get confused on what to do and how far to push the envelope with cleaning. So here’s what you need to know…
Cleaning Vs. Disinfecting
Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and risk of spreading infections. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example EPA registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.